Spacecom plans maritime expansion after bringing in the first customer

TAMPA, Fla. – Israeli satellite operator Spacecom is adjusting its operations to serve maritime customers as the market shows signs of recovery from the pandemic.

Spacecom said on May 12 it has rerouted a Ku band beam on its AMOS-17 satellite to the Indian Ocean for future growth opportunities after securing its first maritime customer.

This customer is using AMOS-17’s Ka-band to connect superyachts in the Indian Ocean, said a Spacecom executive, who said the rerouted Ku-band will allow the operator to deliver up to 2 gigabits per second of capacity across the region. to deliver.

The Ku-band transponder is one of 18 aboard AMOS-17 and previously provided services across East and South Africa by land and sea, said Ofer Asif, senior vice president of business development, strategy and marketing at Spacecom. .

“With the increasing demand for maritime services over East Africa and the Indian Ocean, we have moved the land customers to the AMOS-7 satellite and refocused the AMOS-17 beam to cover the Indian Ocean,” Asif said. SpaceNews.

AMOS-17 is Spacecom’s newest satellite and was launched in 2019 to provide broadcasting and broadband services in Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia.

AMOS-7 is a Spacecom satellite leases from Hong Kong-based AsiaSat under a deal forged in 2016 to fill a cover gap left by AMOS-6, which was destroyed after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket preparing to launch it exploded during a tank test.

“Spacecom works on all aspects of the maritime market, from superyachts and commercial vessels, to container ships, to oil and gas platforms to regular shipping and also for security applications.” added Asif.

According to an annual report on the maritime market released by analysts at Euroconsult on April 20, major cruise ships and more than 60% of passenger cruises resumed in 2021 after being stalled by pandemic travel restrictions.

More maritime traffic helped the number of active very small-aperture (VSAT) terminals increase by 32% in 2021 to 31,100 terminals compared to 2020.

However, the market still has “a long way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels”, Euroconsult added, as the industry continues to feel the pressure of prolonged restrictions on international travel.

Spacecom’s diversification strategy comes after 4iG, a Hungarian IT and communications company, announced plans in June to buy 51% of Spacecom and expand its services portfolio.

Israeli government concerns over Spacecom’s satellites coming under foreign control and 4iG’s ties to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban have delayed the deal’s closing. the Jerusalem Post reported in January.

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